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My level design class started over 6 weeks ago but I am now into the good stuff. Actually opening up the editor and blocking in my level. The first 6 weeks consisted of: sketching out possible characters that could appear in my level if it were truly part of an actual game or mod, creating overhead views of three possible level layouts that I would use for one final level design, and a finished level design document containing the level back story, props, etc.
Anyhow, I am now to the point where I can mingle with the terrain in Unreal Ed and begin painting textures all over the place to meet my design specs. I am having so much fun with designing my level as this is the first time I have ever actually sat down to force myself to learn how to do it. I should have done this eons ago... or at least when Unreal Tournament was released. Once I am done learning everything I can with the engine, I will start to tinker with the Unreal Tournament 3 engine and hope to have even more fun with that.
A quick run down of what I am planning on turning in for my final level would be: a hidden lake located in a valley of mountains and trees would be the center of attention and also the main entry point to the underground cave that will be accessed through the island in the middle of this mystical, hidden lake. I already have everything down on paper as far as the cave's layout goes so now I will begin blocking out the design this week. I highly suggest anyone beginning to make levels do the same, which is draw out and plan your designs on paper first so that you will have a stable foundation to use as your starting point.
I will add more later as my level progresses. Hopefully, WoW and LOTRO won't take up too much of my time this weekend... aw heck! What am I saying? I am going to finish off my level ASAP so I can dive into those previously mentioned games and free my mind for a bit. Ciao!